Horse on Fire, Part One
Photo credit: 387310 via I'd Pin That
I cantered up the steep hill, pushing the grey mare beneath me to work as hard as she could. I knew I was pushing her too hard, but I couldn't control my arms or legs. I tried to call out for help, knowing that the horse would drop from exhaustion soon, but my mouth wouldn't move.
Then it happened. A shrill nicker split the air, and a chestnut stallion burst into view beside me. His mane looked like flames as he galloped along next to me. Then suddenly my body worked and I pulled back on the reins, slowing the exhausted mare. The chestnut horse slowed also, but something was different. He was actually flaming now. Fire licked his withers and neck. He reared, screaming a neigh of pain as he crashed to the ground.
I gasped as a faceless person approached the stallion, throwing a rope around his neck and started to drag him away.
"No!" I screamed, trying to run forward, but again my legs wouldn't move. I shrieked at the person, tugging against the invisible ropes that held my legs.
"Christy." The person said. "Christy."
I sobbed in terror and hopelessness as the person kept repeating my name, over and over again.
I jerked awake. Standing over me was my brother, Reese. I felt tears on my cheeks and my PJ's were drenched with sweat.
"Are you okay?" He asked, worry in his eyes.
I took a moment to comprehend his words, but finally I stuttered some words.
"Y-yeah." I mumbled, sitting up.
"You were yelling in your sleep. Something about a burning horse?" Reese said, tilting his his head.
"It was just a nightmare." I rubbed my eyes. "Did I wake you up?"
"Yeah. Are you sure your okay?" He asked worriedly.
"I'm fine." I assured him.
"Good. Cause you overslept." He cracked a grin.
"You idiot!" I hit him in the face with my pillow. "Today's the competition, I have to be tacked up by nine!"
He laughed and bounded out of my room. "Reese!" I yelled, but hurried over to my dresser and pulled out my riding pants and a tee shirt. I changed quickly the headed down stairs, grabbing a slice of cinnamon toast and shoving open the screen door.
A rush of chilly air cooled my face as I jogged over to the barn. I didn't have my own horse, but I rode Dandy, a skittish palomino.
I grabbed all the tack I needed and lugged it over to the mare's stall. Then I realized I couldn't find my martingale. I started to panic as I dug through the saddle pads and girths. Finally, I dug it out of the pile and rushed over to Dandy. I looked at my watch.
7:30. I had an hour and a half to get to the arena. Mom and dad would already be there, and Reese would be coming with me, if he decided he wanted to watch. We would be going with Owen, our stable hand. Luckily, he had the trailer all ready so all I had to do was load Dandy up.
I shoved open the stall door, thankful that Dandy wasn't one of the horses that would refuses to move while walking. If she was I would be done for. I climbed into the car just as Reese ran out of the house. He jumped in beside me, waving to Owen.
I was so nervous for the competition that I actually fell asleep in the car, ironically. When I awoke, we were there.
I made it to the arena just in time to hear the first names called.
"Megan Locke and Apache Sunrise!" The announcer called.
I watched as a girl on a shiny bay horse burst across the dirt, spraying dust into the air. As they rounded the first barrel, I held my breath. This girl was good. Her black ponytail flipped in the wind as she rounded the second barrel.
I tore my eyes away from them and hurried over to
the table where I was supposed to sign in.
"My name is Christina Brookes." I breathed quickly. They nodded and I led Dandy over to the place where we were supposed to wait.
"17.3!" The announcer spoke into the microphone.
"Nice run Leila!" I heard a voice say as the girl skidded back across the finish line.
"Thanks Angela." The girl, Leila, dismounted and led her horse past me to where another girl was standing.
There was one more person before me so I climbed onto Dandy, nudging her forward to wait. The person in front of me was a boy, with short blonde hair and riding a blue roan pony.
"Hunter Pierce and Blue!"
The boy kicked his horse on, and the little pony sped toward the first barrel. The mare was small, but fast.
They nailed their turns around the first and second barrels, but on the third I think Blue tripped. They still kept running though, and made it back with a score of 18.5.
I nudged Dandy forward and I couldn't feel her getting ready to go. She even half reared once before the announcer called our names and we were off. I felt the wind rush through my dirty blonde hair as we raced down the arena. As we approached the first barrel, I used my leg to turn him.
We finished the first and galloped across to the other. I leaned to the side and we turned cleanly around it.
Now it was time for the last barrel. I could see it very clearly. It was bright red with the letters,"Coca Cola" written across it. We finally spun around it. I kicked Dandy gently, but she knew what to do. She galloped at full speed toward the finish line.
I slowed her down to a stop and listened for the time I had gotten.
"Yes!" I patted Dandy's neck. "Good girl!"
I knew the competition wasn't over yet, but for know we were in the lead.
(I'm actually an English rider, but I've always loved to watch Barrel Racing. Sorry if I get something wrong :) Also, I will post part two soon.)